“Guns and Roses” by David Lohrey
Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Cried the playwright.
Who shot the sheriff? Asked the singer.
The next question to pose is this: who signed up for this?
― classrooms without teachers, cars without drivers,
politicians at each other’s throats.
Are we all in the same boat or are some of us in the water?
They are bashing us with their paddles. It’s sink or swim.
We’ve got girls digging trenches, gays aiming
bazookas. The drones killing our enemies. Bombs at the ready.
The people don’t want freedom? We’ll blow them to smithereens.
We accept cookies. The end is inevitable.
In Texas, people say howdy; in Maine, it’s strictly hi there.
It’s gotten so, some call this diversity of opinion.
As long as we all agree on what’s important,
as long as we say fuck you but not n****r, it will all be fine.
As long as we vote for the same person and with passion,
dance to the same music, run with the pack; as long as we don’t smoke,
we can proceed to checkout.
After all, we’re all the same, isn’t that true?
We’re all humans, all equal beings.
The only difference is that we’re better than them.
We are because we know more, we do more,
and we’re a whole lot cleaner. Humans are equal;
it’s that we do the right thing, but they won’t.
The people we hate are the uncouth and the tacky.
Otherwise, people are fine. I especially
Love blacks. Soon there will be one human race.
What I am getting at is this:
Gertrude Stein was right all along.
Roses are roses are roses, that’s true.
But does a rose grown without soil have
fragrance? I’m told not. We’ll get our bouquet,
As promised, petals at our feet, our welcome home, our
victory parade after the defeat of our enemies. But
Without their sweet aroma, what good are roses?
When everything else is the color and odor of blood,
what use are flowers?